A STRONG performance from WH Smith’s travel division helped lift profits for the retailer.
The division, which has almost 500 outlets at UK airports, motorway services and bus and railway stations, increased half-year operating profits by 15% to £23m as tight cost controls and improved margins helped it overcome continued pressure on air passenger numbers.
Like-for-like sales in the division were down by 2%, but WH Smith – which has a store at The Shambles in Huddersfield – said it continued to outperform the trend in passenger numbers.
Overall, group profits for the six months to February 28 rose by 2% to £62m. The high street division delivered operating profits totalling £47m, unchanged on a year earlier.